Don't Answer Be Happy
The installation "Don't Answer Be Happy" creates an interactive experience in which everything revolves around the personal smartphone. Engrossed in a
conversation between their own personal smartphone and the surrounding artificial intelligence, visitors are compelled to take a stand. Confrontations
with the ambivalence of digital reality arise, and evasion is not possible. The experienced space reflects upon the digital colonization
regarding people and regions of this world outside of global tech hotspots.
Interactive media installation, wall and floor projection with 4 projectors, spatial sound with 4 loudspeakers, interaction via smartphone
- Interactive Installation
- Digital Colonialism
Official Selection of the Mapping Festival Geneva
Nomination Alumni Award Lucerne School of Art and Design
Bachelor Project, Collaboration
Concept, Design, Programming, Setup
TouchDesigner, MadMapper, MaxMsp, Svelte.js, Socket.IO, P5.js
Conceptually the installation addresses the discourse of globalized technology and peeks behind the curtain of the hype surrounding artificial intelligence. It examines how technological developments impact society and what this means for different regions and people of this world. Many tech solutions that have become indispensable in the global North and to which we have become accustomed can only exist through the systematic exploitation of the global South. Without the major discrepancy in income and living conditions, we would not be able to live out this tech luxury to this extent. The installation "Don't Answer Be Happy" focuses on the people who make Western tech luxury possible in the first place through their daily work in precarious conditions, be it clickwork in the creation of datasets that serve as the basis for AI algorithms, in content moderation, in the production of electronic devices or in their recycling.
For the installation we developed a narrative around the personal smartphone, which deals with the issues described previously. The smartphone is the focal point and the depicting element that perfectly represents the difficulties created by technological globalization and digital colonization. In the installation the role of the visitor is inverted. The visitor is degraded to a clickworker and only acts as an extended arm of the smartphone. The smartphone develops an intelligence, but does not understand the irrationality and contradictory nature of human interaction with technology and begins to ask naive questions to its user. The visitor is confronted with questions and is required to take a stance.
The smartphone as the focal point of the different conflicts is also the interactive element. A new type of interaction was specifically developed for this installation, based on gyroscope data of the smartphone, which is accessed via a web application. All visual and auditory experiences in the space are based on the rotation of the smartphone. The visitor also provides answers to the questions by pointing the smartphone at different projections, resulting in an immersive experience.
Concept, Design, Programming, Setup:
Jonas Wolter, Simon Müller